What Is the Employment Outlook for Personal Training Careers?

Personal trainers meet with individual clients to help them devise and achieve physical fitness goals. Average job growth is expected for these professionals from 2012-2022, and your prospects may improve with certification. Read on to learn more about the employment outlook and salary potential for these professionals. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Personal trainers are exercise professionals who help clients workout safely to achieve certain fitness goals. Unlike fitness instructors, who instruct groups of people, personal trainers typically work with a single client at a time. Before starting a client on a fitness regimen, personal trainers assess the person's current level of fitness in order to help them set strength and weight goals.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Professional Certification Preferred by employers; offered by many organizations which are listed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies; CPR certification is required for most personal trainers
Key Skills Speaking, customer-service, listening, motivational, and problem-solving skills; physical fitness
Work Environment Recreation centers, gyms, hospitals, universities, health clubs, fitness studios, and clients' homes
Similar Occupations Physical therapist, recreational therapist, athletic trainer, exercise physiologist

Projected Job Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, predicts about 8 percent job growth for fitness trainers and instructors, including personal trainers, over the period from 2014 through 2024. This growth is about as fast as average. In 2014, there were approximately 279,100 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors employed in the country, and the expected employment growth should result in an increase of 23,400 jobs by 2024.

The following factors are projected to create sustained job growth for these professionals:

  • Aging people wanting to remain physically fit
  • The dangers of childhood obesity
  • Businesses offering employees fitness programs

Aging Population

As members of the largest generation in United States history prepare to enter retirement age, many of them turn to personal trainers to help them stay active and physically fit. These professionals help clients design custom exercise regimens that focus on the clients' individual health goals so that they can remain healthy, independent and mobile well into advanced age. The BLS reports that residential care facilities and nursing homes will have a demand for these trainers since more of the elderly are staying in these places.

Children and Young Adults

As the BLS reports, many schools are cutting back on physical education programs due to budget issues, although concerns are increasing about the effects of childhood obesity. In response to the lack of physical education in schools, many parents are enrolling their children in health clubs and hiring personal trainers to get their kids in shape.

Companies and Employees

Many businesses and corporations understand that healthy, physically fit employees are more productive than employees who may be overworked or unhealthy. In an effort to help employees remain healthy and active even while working desk jobs, many employers provide on-site fitness centers with personal trainers for their employees. In addition, some companies provide incentives that motivate employees to work out. Both of these actions will drive demand for fitness workers.

Improve Your Prospects

The BLS expects those with professional certification or other formal education in the field to have good prospects. Although a high school diploma may be enough, the BLS notes that employers may require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Some examples include degrees in physical education and exercise science. While educational requirements vary, the BLS mentions that most personal trainers take classes and pursue certification. In addition, they may work with another trainer to gain some experience.

Salary Information

Many fitness workers are employed part-time and sometimes work in multiple health centers to achieve a full-time workload. Many experienced personal trainers work independently and often have more schedule flexibility and earn a higher income than those who work for particular gyms or health centers. According to PayScale.com, most personal trainers earned between $19,633 and $60,376 as of September 2015. In addition, the median salary for these workers was $35,475. Professionals with less than five years of experience earned a median of about $33,000, while those with 5-10 years of personal training experience made a median of around $40,000, per PayScale.com.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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